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Question about the "New Moon" for Astronomers/Amateur Astronomers

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posted on Jun, 29 2009 @ 11:40 AM
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I have a question regarding the "New Moon" for astronomers or amateur astronomers:

I realize that the non-visible "new Moon" is somewhere in the sky during daylight hours only, but I was wondering if it is possible for a new Moon -- perhaps at around sunrise or sunset -- to eclipse a very bright star or planet, such as Venus.

I know this would need to occur close to sunrise or sunset since even Venus is not bright enough to be seen in the daylight, and the new moon is basically only in the sky during the daylight. Perhaps this could happen in the winter months when the hours of daylight are much shorter.

I know that the Moon eclipsed Venus earlier this year (April 22), but I believe that was a crescent "Old Moon" -- i.e., the Moon was partially visible. I was wondering if this ever occurred or will occur when the moon is not visible due to it being "new". I would think it would be an interesting sight to see Venus disappear for seemingly no reason and then later reappear.


EDIT TO ADD:
I suppose the proper term is "occultation" and not "eclipse"


[edit on 6/29/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]




posted on Jun, 29 2009 @ 01:01 PM
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reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
 


Every so often, the new moon will eclipse the sun. I think that that is the only time that the new moon will eclipse a star, or any other celestial body. The reason being because of the wobble up and down that the moon takes as it rotates the Earth. I could be wrong though. I want to find out now. The best bet though probably would be the winter because you'd be more likely to be out when the sun sets.


I know this would need to occur close to sunrise or sunset since even Venus is not bright enough to be seen in the daylight,

Venus sometimes is bright enough to see in the day time. Depending on where the two planets are in their orbits and what phase Venus is in [just like the moon, Venus' full phase is the brightest--it can cast shadows!] she can be seen.



posted on Jun, 29 2009 @ 01:08 PM
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reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
 


Good post Soylent.

Can we figure out new moon is an Earth eclipse on moon?
Are there other planets eclipses?

Thank's,
Happy



posted on Jun, 29 2009 @ 01:14 PM
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reply to post by octotom
 

Yes - by definition a solar eclipse involves the Moon in "new moon" phase, because the Sun is directly opposite the Moon as viewed from Earth -- thus no parts of the "lit" portion of the Moon are visible...

...but I'm talking about an occurrence where the visibility of Venus (or a very bright star) is obscured by an eclipsing new moon in a near-darkened sky.

And yes...I have heard about occasions where Venus was visible in broad daylight, but I would think that a daytime Venus would be hard to see, and therefore it would not be such a stunning eclipse -- as would be the case if the very bright Venus seen around sunset or sunrise would be eclipsed by the "invisible" (i.e., all dark) new moon.


[edit on 6/29/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]



posted on Jun, 29 2009 @ 01:28 PM
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Originally posted by Happyface
reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
 


Good post Soylent.

Can we figure out new moon is an Earth eclipse on moon?
Are there other planets eclipses?

Thank's,
Happy

Hi Happy --

No, a "New moon" is not caused by the Earth eclipsing the Moon (called a "Lunar Eclipse"). In fact, the Moon needs to be in the "Full Moon" phase to be eclipsed by the Earth, and that's because for a lunar eclipse to occur the Sun, Earth and Moon need to be lined up (in that order) in a straight line, therefore the part of the Moon lit-up by the Sun would be directly facing the Earth.

The New Moon, on the other hand, happens when the Sun is on the opposite side of the moon as seen from the Earth, therefore the "lit-up" portion of the moon is facing away from us.

When the Sun/Moon/Earth are lined up (in that order) in a straight line, that's when a "Solar Eclipse" occurs -- which is when the Moon moves directly in front of the Sun as seen from Earth.

I hope that helps!



...as for your question about other planets eclipses:

There have been occasions the Venus and Mercury have "eclipsed" the Sun as seen from Earth -- these occasions are called "transits". Here are articles about the transit of Venus and Mercury across the Sun:
Transit of Venus.
Transit of Mercury

Only Venus and Mercury can transit (or eclipse) the Sun as seen from Earth because they are the only two planets between the Earth and Sun. Each planet can only see the planets between it and the Sun transit the Sun. For example, the Earth's, Venus' and Mercury's transit of the Sun would be visible from Mars, Jupiter and the rest of the outer planets.


[edit on 6/29/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]



posted on Jun, 29 2009 @ 02:23 PM
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What you are talking about is called an occultation. An occulatation of a star by a new moon would be very unlikely to be observable. Even at very high latitudes, the sunrise follows the moonrise by less than thirty minutes (moonset follows sunset by slightly less) so the sky would be pretty bright when the moon was "visible".

It just might be possible to view an occultation of Venus by a new moon but planetary occultations are not a very common occurance and are dependent on your location. I would think you would have to be at a fairly high latitude to catch it. If there was going to be such an occurance I'm pretty sure the various astronomical websites would let us all know about it. It would be a very cool thing to see.

Though it wasn't a new moon, there was an occultation of Venus earlier this year.
www.lunar-occultations.com...

Check the home page of that site.



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